Target Pulls Halloween Clown Costumes in Wake of Scare

Target announces it's pulling clown masks from stores amid ongoing rash of "creepy clown" sightings across the country. (Published Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016)

If you had plans on dressing as a creepy clown for Halloween this year you'll have to do your costume shopping at someplace other than Target. The national retailer announced it was pulling its clown costumes and masks from stores and online in the wake of the creepy clown hysteria that has swept the country in recent months.

Target confirmed to NBC's "Today" show all clown masks were being pulled from stores and the company is in the process of pulling the masks from its online site.

A quick check of the website Monday morning shows a few clown costumes are still available for purchase, but none of the "creepy" variety.

In recent months there has been a rash of creepy clown sightings with costumed men exhibiting menacing behavior. Last week a 53-year-old man wearing what police described as "multi-color clown/performance-style clothing" was arrested for allegedly intimidating a 16-year-old boy with a knife in a Manhattan subway station.

The New Haven Public School district is prohibiting clown costumes and any other "symbols of terror" during this year's Halloween season. Even fast-food giant McDonald's is bowing to the craze, announcing it was keeping mascot Ronald McDonald on the sidelines until the hysteria blows over.